I processed a similar image last year, which was taken from the ground, at the end of the pond. It’s now the image I use for the header of this site and you can also check out my Lights of Jardine post to see it. This image was taken a few months after the first one. In this photo I was able to capture the fountain while it was lit up and the long shutter speed (several seconds) made it nice and silky. I took this from a third floor balcony of one of the apartments, so this is the kind of view you would get if you were living there.
Processing the image proved to be a bit of a challenge. I used the brushes in Aperture 3 to tune specific parts of the photo, mostly applying the “intensify contrast” adjustment. (I’m thinking about writing a tutorial on how I processed this photo.) An aperture of f/8 was enough to give the lights a star like effect. The most challenging part to edit was the edge between the roofs and the sky. The result of the HDR processing was quite noisy so I used Noiseware to take care of it, although I did loose some detail. Sharpening was done in Photoshop using the unsharp mask filter. It does a good job.
Some details about this photo:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: DA L 18-55
Focal Length: 18mm
3 image HDR, bracketed from -2 EV to +2 EV